Cider Tricks: Menus, TabPages, ToolBars

November 30, 2007 at 11:21 am | Posted in C#, Cider, Visual Studio, WPF | 1 Comment

The frustrating thing about the WPF Designer in VS2008 (a.k.a. “Cider”) is that it does not support drag and drop placement of items for every control. The first three that I encountered were menus, toolbars and laying out controls on a tab page. The IDE does have some capability to facilitate the design of these items that don’t require exclusive XAML coding. You just have to know the techniques to use them.


While you can add MenuItem to the toolbox, you can not drag it to the content portion of a Menu control in the designer. The easy way to create Menus is as follows:

1. Drag a Menu control from the toolbox onto the window.

2. Select the Menu control and find the Items property in the Property window. Click on the (…) icon. This will bring up the Collection Editor dialog.

3. Use it to add MenuItems. You can edit the properties of each item (like the Header property) as well as add sub-items by clicking on the Items property of the MenuItem. For the sub-items, you can also add a separator.


Items in a ToolBar can only be added with the XAML editor. Once added, you can edit and move them using the Collection Editor for the ToolBar.


You cannot layout controls directly on a TabItem for a TabControl. There are two tricks that are required: use a Grid panel and using the SelectedIndex to put each page in view for layout.

1. Drag a TabControl from the toolbox onto the window.

2. Using the Items propery in the Property window, add your TabItems and enter the Header properties for each one.

3. In the XAML editor, add a Grid to each TabItem like this:


4. Select the TabControl and locate the SelectedIndex property. Change the index to the page you want to layout.

5. Drag and drop items from the toolbox onto the Grid of the TabItem.


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